Michael Hernandez serves as co-chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group. Michael practices in the areas of education, labor, and employment law. His experience involves litigation at all levels of state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including property tax appeal work. He has a broad background in constitutional and civil rights law, including affirmative action and desegregation matters. His practice also includes vendor contracts, drafting legislation, lobbying, and assisting emerging or transitioning companies.
Prior to joining the firm, Michael served as general counsel of the Illinois State Board of Education and deputy general counsel for the Chicago Board of Education. He practiced at the law firm of Freeborn & Peters and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
Michael served as a member of the Classrooms First Commission’s Operational Shared Services work group and is on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Counsel of School Attorneys. The Commission was created by the Illinois legislature to research issues affecting school districts. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association and the Hispanic Lawyer’s Association of Illinois. In 2014, Michael was nominated as a Fellow for the American Bar Foundation and serves as the Illinois Chair for 2021-2024. He served on the Leadership Greater Chicago Fellows Board and serves as a board member of the National Latino Education Institute. He is also the chair of the Alliance’s Arts Illinois Board of Directors’ Education Committee.
Michael was appointed as the firm’s first Diversity Officer in 2006 and has been a congressional nominee to the National Hispanic Leadership Summit. He is a founding member of the Chicago Advisory Board of Teach for America, and he has served as designated counsel for the National Hispanic Sales Network.
- Named a 2017 Most Influential Minority Lawyer in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business
- Has been recognized as a Super Lawyer
- 2019 Leaders Council Champion award from Chicago United